Absa Premiership

PSL title race: A soccer-mad nation with low morale needs a boost to their spirits

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates fans (Gallo Images)
Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates fans (Gallo Images)

It was wise old sage Henri Frederic Amiel who suggested way back in 1861 that "the unfinished is nothing".

And so, while there are many obstacles in these trouble-torn times of the Coronavirus epidemic, everything possible should be done to complete the currently halted Absa Premiership - a view espoused by top PSL guru, Professor Ronnie Schloss.

Ultimately, however, it is the government who will have  the final say as President Cyril Ramaphosa and his hard-pressed cabinet attempt to contain the current dreaded pandemic, with neither alternative to a completed 2019/20 Absa Premiership season deemed as satisfactory.

Abandoning the title race and declaring the South African football year without a champion is clearly something that would please no one, while artificially declaring narrow log leaders Kaizer Chiefs as the title holders would also have a hollow ring to it and please few except the Amakhosi faithful.

So the search should be intensified to secure a bona fide title holder, but with a formula that would exclude spectators from the remaining games and other stringent rules aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.

In this respect, however, Schloss has reiterated that certain provisions previously thought to have been implemented by FIFA to complete the season by the end of July are not in existence and time - or lack of it - is not an unsurmountable obstacle.

"There have even been reports that FIFA would allow domestic league championships to run until the end of the year if necessary," added the PSL doyen.

"The German Bundesliga is due to resume this weekend and a number of other competitions in Europe are set to follow. But there are tricky situations to settle."

If the Absa Premiership resumes, it would seem to be, in the main, a two-horse race between log leaders Chiefs, who have a four point advantage over Mamelodi Sundowns with the defending champion Brazilians enjoying a game in hand.

Finding a champion on the field of play is truly the only overriding solution to the issue - as Mr Amiel pin-pointed more than 160 years ago.

And this is not only from the sporting point view, but even more so, perhaps, because a troubled soccer-mad nation whose morale under lockdown restrictions is at a particularly low ebb, needs to have a much-needed boost to their spirits.

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